Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Parent threatening suicide

Community Member
My father has Borderline Personality. I lived it growing up. He ticks all the boxes, the only one he wasnt was suicidal. Maybe he was and maybe i was shielded from it. Now, I have left home, he is telling mum that he wants to commit suicide. He is super controlling, not letting her go anywhere alone, drive or spend money without his permission. My mum never admits anything is wrong. For the first time in my life, my mum has admitted something is wrong with him and she needs help. This is a HUGE deal for her. She went to her doctor today (father tried to go in with her but was stopped by the doctor) and told the doctor everything. he said it is nothing to worry about. WTF??? This has been their GP since the early 80s. I suffer from depression and have since i was very very little and this is a huge weight on me. Is there anything I can do?
4 Replies 4

Hey Dexterity, thanks for reaching out here on the forums. 
We're really sorry to hear what your father is going through at the moment, but he sounds very lucky to have such a caring son like yourself. Please know that you've come to a safe space to talk about these thoughts and feelings and our wonderful community is here to offer as much support and advice as you need.

If you feel up to it, we'd also recommend getting in touch with our Support Service which is available 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or you can visit on our website www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport for online chat. One of our friendly counsellors will be able to give you some information and advice to help you and your sister. 

You might also find some helpful advice on our page "Worried about someone suicidal" https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/suicide-prevention/worried-about-someone-suicidal

We hope that you keep checking back in with us to let us know how you are going, whenever you feel up to it.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Dexterity~

I'll join Sophie_M in welcoming you here and can see this is a huge burden. Having had depression for so long and now having your mother to worry about as well as your dad makes thing very hard indeed.

I guess there are several things I'd like to say to you, the first being that your best starter move is to ensure your own welfare. Unless you can cope and are not in too bad a place then trying to help others is simply going to make you worse -plus you probably won't be as effective as you might otherwise.

May I ask if you have medical support for your depressions? I found that it was impossible to make myself better and only started to improve when I had competent doctors helping me.

Now, your mum. She sounds the sort that puts up with an awful lot and probably is the sort of forgiving nature the tends to excuse bad behavior -as going everywhere with her, deciding on what is spent or even letting her drive are all controlling tactics. Threats of one nature or another may be part of it too for some.

That being the case it must have been a big step for your mum to go to the family GP alone, however in view of past joint consultations and the possibility she may minimize your dad's behavior it might not have seemed as serious as it could.

As the person who has said he has had suicidal thoughts your dad is the one who needs to see a doctor urgently. I'd suggest both you mum and your dad see fresh doctors and see where it goes. Frankly I'm not sure about more from what you say, your mum may need support, but certainly so must your dad.

It is something most imortant for both you and your mum to realize, that no one can keep another alive by themselves. It is a team effort involving those close, a medical team -and the person themselves.

Do you think there is any chance of your mum talking to another doctor, maybe more frankly , or even talking to someone about that controlling behavior as well as suicidal thoughts, perhaps Relationships Australia 1300 364 277?

I would like it if you came back and talked more, maybe saying your impression of your dad might be good.


Community Member
Things have gotten so much worse. Dad is now threatening mum with physical violence. And abusing her publicly. I feel awful but I feel like I’d rather not know as I can’t cope with this information. I’m on meds but I’m worried they’re not enough. I hate him so much

Hi Dexterity

I would also like to extend my support to you and to your family as well, this is a really hard time for you all and I hope that firstly you are ok, that your mother is ok, if your father is not able to control is actions and his emotions and that he is indeed threatening to become physically violent then it is time for you to call for help and let the police know what is happening in your home. Your safety and your mother's safety is so important and it seems that your father is not very safe from himself either. Please call 000 at anytime you feel anyone is going to be harmed.

I understand that it sometimes feels like it could be easier to put your hands over your ears and hide and just pray it all goes away, we know that it will not and that as Croix pointed out to you, a team needs to be involved to assist your father in his mental health recovery. A medical team and some psychiatric support maybe, some help from his family but mostly he has to be apart of the journey too and want this for himself. I know that is hard to hear that no one can possibly be responsible for keeping another human alive, we all want to be able to help or to "save" our loved ones, however this is not possible without the person themselves accepting the hand of help.

Please also take some time for you, to reach out here as you are doing but maybe a conversation with a person at one of the helplines might be very valuable to you too. There are some amazing supports available to you as Sophie_M has included in her post to you.

Sending you strength and hope Dexterity.